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Presidential Hopeful Rep. Ryan Has History of Advocating for Mental Health Awareness

Washington, D.C., May 23 – Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan took office in 2003, but he gained notoriety in 2016 when he challenged then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, saying that a new generation of leadership was needed in the Democratic Party. Now, Rep. Ryan is running for President. When examining his record on disability issues, it is clear that Rep. Ryan advocates for mental health awareness and has supported the disability community by cosponsoring several important bills.

In recent years, he has cosponsored two bills on mental health issues that have become law. The National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2018 aims to shorten the suicide hotline phone number to three digits to make it easier to call. The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017 makes grants available to initiate peer mentoring pilot programs, helps develop resources for mental health providers on the specific challenges that law enforcement officers face, and will examine the effectiveness of crisis hotlines and annual mental health checks.

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Presidential Hopeful Gov. Steve Bullock Has History of Advocacy for People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., May 16 – Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is running for President on the idea that he is a Democratic Governor in a red state who knows how to work with people on both sides of the aisle. But how does he fare on disability issues?

While running for re-election in 2016, Gov. Bullock completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for presidential, senate and gubernatorial candidates put out by RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. In his response to the questionnaire, he focused on employment, independent community living, veterans with disabilities, education, healthcare, caregivers support and workforce development issues.

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Eight Tips for Presidential Candidates: How to Connect with Voters with Disabilities

By Lauren Appelbaum and Hon. Steve Bartlett

Washington, D.C., May 9 – For a presidential campaign to be fully inclusive of people with disabilities, it needs to meet the following requirements: (1) offer captioning with every video it shares or produces, (2) mention people with disabilities and their issues, (3) depict people with visible disabilities in its media, (4) reach out to the disability community, and (5) provide accessible campaign events and website. RespectAbility staff looks forward to assisting all campaigns in achieving these important goals. Below are some tips on how to do so.

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1,156 New Jobs for People with Disabilities in Washington State as Gov. Jay Inslee Launches 2020 Campaign

Washington, D.C., April 12th – While nationally 111,804 jobs were gained by people with disabilities, 1,156 went to people with disabilities living in Washington State. The newly published 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows there are 480,828 working-age (18-64) people with disabilities living in Washington State. Out of that number, only 194,948 have jobs. That means that the Evergreen State has a 40.5 percent disability employment rate. Further analysis by the nonpartisan advocacy group RespectAbility shows that Washington now ranks 20th in the nation in terms of jobs for people with disabilities.

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1,441 Wisconsinites with Disabilities Lose Jobs as Gov. Tony Evers pledged major commitment to student with disabilities

Washington, D.C., April 8 – During the 2019 National Governors’ Association winter meeting, newly elected Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said that “education is the most important issue in Wisconsin” and pledged a $1.4 billion dollar investment in his state’s schools. Out of that investment, Gov. Evers pledged a “600 million dollar increase” for students with disabilities.

That is good news for Wisconsinites with disabilities. The newly published 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows that there are 339,267 working-age (18-64) people with disabilities living in Wisconsin. Out of that number, 142,285 have jobs. That means that the Badger State has a 41.9 percent disability employment rate. Further analysis by the nonpartisan advocacy group RespectAbility shows that Wisconsin ranks 17th in the nation out of the 50 states for disability employment. Census Bureau data also shows that more than 1,441 people with disabilities left Wisconsin’s workforce last year. 

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Expansion of Best Practices leads to 19,745 new jobs for Californians with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., April 2 – Nationwide 111,804 people with disabilities got new jobs last year, including 19,745 new jobs for Californians with disabilities. The Golden State now ranks 35th among the 50 states in terms of the employment rate for people with disabilities. The newly published 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows there are 1,980,677 working-age (ages 18-64) people with disabilities living in California. Out of that number, 721,536 have jobs. That means California has a disability employment rate of 36.4 percent.

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